Ice elevation near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet divide during the Last Glaciation

Robert P. Ackert, Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, Byron R. Parizek, Harold W. Borns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Interior ice elevations of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) during the last glaciation, which can serve as benchmarks for ice-sheet models, are largely unconstrained. Here we report past ice elevation data from the Ohio Range, located near the WAIS divide and the onset region of the Mercer Ice Stream. Cosmogenic exposure ages of glacial erratics that record a WAIS highstand ∼125 m above the present surface date to ∼11.5 ka. The deglacial chronology prohibits an interior WAIS contribution to meltwater pulse 1A. Our observational data of ice elevation changes compare well with predictions of a thermomechanical. ice-sheet model that incorporates very low basal shear stress downstream of the present day grounding line. We conclude that ice streams in the Ross Sea Embayment had thin, low-slope profiles during the last glaciation and interior WAIS ice elevations during this period were-several hundred meters lower than previous reconstructions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL21506
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 16 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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